Publisher: Tsutaya Jūzaburō (蔦屋重三郎)

Alternate names:
Kōshodō (firm name - 耕書堂)
Tsutajū (seal name - 蔦重)
Kitagawa Jūzaburō (family name - 喜多川重三郎)

Lifetime: 1774 - 1852

Related links:


Edo print publisher (Marks 555). Artists published by this house include Chōki, Eisen, Eishi, Eizan, Fusanobu, Harumachi, Hiroshige, Hokuba, as both Sori & Hokusai, Kiyomasa, Kiyomitsu, Kiyonaga, Koryūsai, Kunimaru, as both Kunisada & Toyokuni III, Kunimasa, Kuniyasu, Kuniyoshi, Masanobu, Masayoshi, Sharaku, Shigemasa, Shunchō, Shun'ei, Shunman, Shunshō Toyokuni I, Toyokuni II, Tsukimaro and Utamaro.

[Artists in the Lyon Collection who were published by this house have their names highlighted in bold type.]


"The stars of Edo period culture, ukiyo-e artists Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), Toshusai Sharaku, the comic author Santo Kyoden (1761-1816) and the kyoka comic poetry author Ota Nanpo(1749-1823), flourished in the city of Edo during the latter half of the 18th century. The savvy mastermind behind all these celebrities was Tsutaya Juzaburo (1750-1797), the greatest avant-garde producer, creator and publisher of Edo culture. Tsutaya Juzaburo― the sole publisher and distributor of the Yoshiwara saiken, the popular guidebook to the Yoshiwara pleasure district;, publisher of sumptuously illustrated kyoka comic poetry books that combined kyoka poetry with ukiyo-e prints; publisher of the master comic author Kyoden with his biting satire of contemporary conditions; the genius behind the half-length portraits of beauties that allowed Utamaro’s talent to shine forth, and the “discoverer” of the enigmatic print artist Sharaku. These and other accomplishments reveal Tsutaya’s leading role in trendsetting and creativity in Edo period Japan.

Tsutaya was a superb businessman who solidified his position as a top publisher by, on the one hand, strategically establishing his income base through such sure-selling works as the Yoshiwara saiken and textbooks, and on the other hand, by establishing his shop’s brand name through his astute use of the popularity of bestselling kyoka poets and satirists. And yet, his list of accomplishments would not be complete without considering his “discovery” of the as yet unknown talents of Utamaro, Sharaku, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Jippensha Ikku (1765-1831) and Kyokutei Bakin (1767-1848).

Tsutaya’s publication of sumptuous illustrated books, ukiyo-e works and comic works that satirized the Kansei Reforms brought the ire of the powerful figures of the day down upon his head, and he was fined half his fortune in 1791. Despite this setback he continued on, and his willful publication of half-length beauty prints by Utamaro plus Sharaku’s actor prints brought continuing delight and amazement to the audiences of the day."

This information is quoted directly from a Suntory Museum of Art web page.